Carol Schwartz speaks: Vote for Phil Mendelson
Carol Schwartz, the former four-term D.C. Council member and grand dame of local Republican politics, has emerged from her undisclosed location -- OK, Rehoboth Beach -- to weigh in on the approaching primary election.
Her mission: To save incumbent council member Phil Mendelson from possibly losing to Michael D. Brown, the first-term shadow senator who was leading Mendelson in a recent Washington Post poll -- due, most assume, to name confusion with current at-large council member Michael A. Brown.
"A political scam is taking place in our city," she writes in a statement. Michael D. Brown, she says, "is purposely deceiving voters by not showing who he really is." While saying that Brown is "entitled to run," Schwartz says his decisions not to campaign until the last minute and not to put his middle initial on the ballot -- as he did in 2006 -- leaves himself open to charges of deceit.
Mendelson, she writes, "is honest, smart, honorable, courageous, hardworking, and ethical."
"People say to me practically every day in the last 20 months that they miss me on the Council," says Schwartz, who lost the 2008 Republican primary before pursuing an ill-fated write-in bid and has since kept a low public profile. "I'm speaking up today because I do not want in the near future to miss having Phil Mendelson on the Council."
Full statement after jump.
September 9, 2010
Wake up, Washington! A political scam is taking place in our city. A recent Washington Post poll shows a little-known "shadow" candidate leading a known and trusted at-large DC Councilmember, Phil Mendelson, by 17 percentage points citywide and among African-American voters by 35 points. This is the same Phil Mendelson who got more votes in the 2006 primary election for the Council than Adrian Fenty got for Mayor, and Phil continues to serve us well.
Why is this new Council candidate, who up until very recently had not raised or spent a dime, leading this respected incumbent? Because he happens to share the same name -- Michael Brown -- although not the same middle initial or race with a sitting and known African-American at-large Councilmember who, by the way, is supporting Phil Mendelson for this at-large seat.
The poll leader seems like a nice guy (at least I thought so before now) and after all, it's his name too. So why blame him for the confusion? Because it has become apparent that he is purposely deceiving voters by not showing who he really is. If he is well meaning, he should have run a real campaign from the beginning and he should have put his middle initial on the ballot as he did in his 2006 election for Shadow Senator. He also should have put up posters, sent out mailings, and/or called press conferences to inform voters and clear up this confusion, and then run on his own merits.
But he didn't. He could still do that and I hope that he will, but now the time is growing short. Of course, he is entitled to run, and he is entitled to run his campaign any way he pleases. He is also entitled to win. But he is not entitled to perpetuate a scam, cause such confusion and perhaps cause a true injustice to occur in our city.
Regardless, the candidate who should win is Phil Mendelson. Phil represents the characteristics we should all value in our elected officials. He is honest, smart, honorable, courageous, hardworking, and ethical.
People say to me practically every day in the last 20 months that they miss me on the Council. I'm speaking up today because I do not want in the near future to miss having Phil Mendelson on the Council, and nor should you.
So Wake Up, Washington. Don't be fooled. We are being played. So let's stop the scam before it's too late.
September 9, 2010; 10:29 PM ET
Categories: DCision 2010 , Phil Mendelson , The District
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